Ok, so you got excited about creating your Lendpool campaign and now it’s time to get serious and start thinking about how to organise everything you need. To help you out, we’ve created this detailed guideline to maximize your chances of success.
1. Set Your Goal
The first thing you’ll have to think about is what will you ask money for. What is the next step in your career that you are having trouble reaching due to lack of funding? On Lendpool we review and accept projects that need funding starting from $100.000 up to $100 million.
2. Create Your Campaign
Once you have your goal, you will have to figure out when you will need to be funded by. Set a date that takes under consideration these things:
•Entry dates for the project you want to build and launch.
•Any upfront payments to third parties (ex. suppliers) that you will need to do in order to secure your starting the project.
•Think about every aspect of the project you will launch in that has to be resolved and paid for before setting your ‘D’ Day.
The last thing you want is to get funded and then realise that you can’t build the project because you missed the entry date. Don’t mess this up.
3. Campaign Start & End Date
The most successful campaigns are never the longer ones, keep that in mind! People are more likely to contribute if you express the urgency of your campaign. We suggest 30 – 45 days for the best results. On Lendpool minimum is 14 days with a maximum of 90 days.
Also allow a bit of time between the end of your campaign and your ‘D’ day. We recommend a week buffer for money transfers and credit card payments be processed.
Finally, please allow at least one week for your campaign to be reviewed by our team for approval. More details about our approval criteria to follow.
4. Detail Your Campaign Target
This is the part of your planning where you will have to come up with the exact amount of money you will need to complete your goal. It is important for every project builder to think about ALL the costs involved in their process to create their campaign target. Think about things like:
•Starting costs for your project
•Travel expenses (airplane tickets, accommodation, transport, etc)
•How much will it cost to build parts, components or to hire?
•Do you need to conduct any testing/dry-runs prior to the launching event?
•Tools or gear you will need to acquire
The more precise you are the better. Do not leave anything out because once you get fuelled, people will expect to see you building that project.
You should also ask yourself weather you already have part of the money you need to complete your goal. If you do, mention that in your campaign description, people will appreciate the fact that you are asking only what you need. Never ask for more then you require for your project, people and other entrepreneurs way notice that and you might send out a wrong impression. If your goal is interesting enough you can always raise more then you are asking for!
5. Choose Your Campaign Type
Lendpool allows campaign creators to choose from two types of funding. It is important to understand the difference between them and why we created this distinction.
Flexible funding: Allows you to keep the funds you raise, even if you don’t reach your target. Ideal if your project can use whatever amount of funds you can raise. With this funding option you have to be cautious of not offering rewards that require you to have met your budget target, for example:
• If you are asking for money to build a prototype and launch a new product, you will not be able to offer rewards like: ‘Come participate to the launch of our product’ or ‘Experience live the product you help fund’. These rewards depend on you executing (delivering) the product after testing is complete which would require you to have met your target. By choosing the flexible funding option, you will keep any money you raise, but also will not be able to link your rewards with your goal for if you don’t reach your target you will not be able to deliver them.
• If you wish to offer interesting experiences related to your goal please choose the Fixed funding option explained below.
Fixed funding: All Contributions will be refunded to your backers if you don’t reach your target. Ideal if your project can’t happen unless you raise the full amount you asked for. This option is where we see the best results for it allows you to create the best rewards, and brings out the urgency of your campaign. Fixed funding allows you to be as creative as you would like with your rewards for they will be delivered when/ if you meet your target, therefore there is no risk of the campaign creator falling short on his promises.
6. Campaign Description
Here you will be able to explain the details of your campaign in 350 words or less. Write about your goal, your intentions, your aspirations and anything you feel your backers might want to know about you, your team or your project.
Its important that backers understand why you are asking for their money and where it will go. Don’t forget to include information about what will happen if you raise more then your target. Some people choose to donate the extra cash or invest in grassroots projects within their sport. If you choose to keep the extra money raised, there is no shame in that at all, just tell people what you will do with it. Most likely it will go into your career so let them know that.
Remember to break up the text into digestible chunks to allow people to skim through the text easily. Create titles, add pictures, use bullet points and brief paragraphs.
Basic structure suggestion:
• Tell a bit about yourself and your background.
• Describe your campaign and why reaching your goal is important to you.
• Explain how their contribution will help you with your goal.
• Prove your the right man for the job and let them know your previous successes.
Explain why you need the funds you are asking for and tell people where it’s going. Be honest, transparent and specific, your fans will need to trust you in order to help you.
Present your rewards and get people motivated to participate.
• Describe where the funds go if you don’t reach your entire goal.
• Briefly explain your choice of Fixed funding or Flexible funding. Your backers should be informed that if you don’t reach your target you don’t get anything or that you will keep all the money that is raised regardless if you meet your target.
• Explain how their contribution can make the difference to your project and future.
• Explain why your project is valuable to the contributor and to the world.
• Tell them your next steps after you fulfill this goal. Get them excited about where their contribution could end up!
Other Ways You can Help
• Tell them how they can help you without making a contribution. Ask them to share the campaign with their friends.
• Ask for contacts that could assist you in reaching your target.
• Remind them to use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share the campaign.
That should do it!
7. Create Your Campaign Video
Creating a video is not a requirement for Lendpool campaigns although it is highly advisable to have one. Ultimately we are living in a media driven society. We accept campaigns that have a video related to the project seeking funds. This is the best way for your campaign to go viral and for it to get an insane amount of views. Here are a couple of tips to make a killer campaign video.
• Tell us your story.
• Have you had to overcome any obstacles to get where you are today?
• Show us your skills.
• Talk about your competition and the goal you want to achieve.
• Why is this important to you?
• Why do you love it?
• Are you doing this campaign? To raise awareness for something?
• What greater good will happen if you are able to complete your goal? Who else will benefit from what you are doing?
• Are you leading the path for other creative minds to follow in your footsteps in any way?
• Why are you doing this? What motivates you?
• How are you going to positively affect the world with what you are doing? Explain how?
• What impact will you have in your community, your city, your country if you complete your goal?
People are 10 times more likely to contribute and partake with their money if there is a purpose, cause or an amazing story in your campaign video. We know you are passionate and love what you do, but try to think beyond your passion and also imagine how your journey will inspire others.
Lenders and Investors need to connect to your story to contribute, to help you spread the word and to feel empowered to go after their own goals, no matter what they are!
If your not able to do the video yourself or if you don’t have a mate that can help you out, there is no need to feel like its the end of the world. Through its partners Lendpool offers production services and if you need some help in this area please contact us and we can discuss with you the details. And make it short; the longest video should be 90 seconds. The shorter the better. Remember you are showing a viral video and not a commercial one.
Last thing we need to mention is don’t harm yourself trying to do something cool on camera, we cannot be responsible for any of that craziness.
8. Create Awesome Rewards
Like every deal, offering creative benefits is essential for the success of your campaign. This will generate more interest from possible contributors and will increase your chances of getting funded. Remember to include any costs you will have in creating these rewards in your target number.
Eg. If you plan on giving people who contribute $1500 a Country Club membership, be sure to include the cost of marketing in your campaign target, and don’t forget to include shipping costs if necessary.
The rewards can be anything that excite people to contribute, for example:
• If you are an experienced designer you can organize a workshop to teach your skills to amateur creators in return for their investing
• For small to medium projects you can ask your suppliers to help you out and donate some of their branded merchandise for your campaign and you can reward contributors with promotional materials.
• As well you could create medium rewards of $5,000 or more and offer to have a company’s logo on your gear during the launching event.
• You can also go a bit further and create bigger rewards for investors. Propose royalties from the proceeds – gross sales – for several months or years once your product sells on open market.
• The financial reward is the interest on the monies received from lenders. Explain what is the maximum interest rate, the terms and conditions of your project when paying back the lenders.
We’ve noticed that the more personal you are with your rewards the bigger the chances of people contributing to your campaign. Rewards like ‘contribute ‘X’ amount and get a tour of our headquarters’ or ‘contribute ‘X’ amount and I will spend a day with you in a one-on-one training session’ are always the most popular ones. The reason being that they are exclusive and chances are backers won’t get that opportunity anywhere else, so be personal and remember that giving your time is cost efficient and valuable for backers.
Finally, offer something for everyone. Have a range of large and small rewards that vary from $100 – $10,000. When offering to discus interest rates or royalties be well informed of what the market is at the time of your listing. If you don’t offer big rewards, chances are people won’t give you big chunks of money.
Be creative, personal and include small, medium and big rewards!
What Not to Offer as Rewards
For legal reasons Lendpool does not allow the following rewards to be offered:
• Alcohol – no alcoholic drinks can be offered as rewards
• Sexually Explicit Material or Offers – no sexual services, conduct or sexual explicit products can be offered as rewards
• Financial rewards* – no direct investment rewards, equity, shares or any ownership incentives can be offered as rewards
• Raffles or gaming prizes – no entries in raffles competition or any other gambling service, stakes or odds can be offered as rewards
• Restricted or Illegal items – no weapons, drugs, prescription medications or stolen goods can be offered as rewards
*Except for interest on the principal and the royalties only when the company is already formed (incorporated) with a verified status; documentation to be provided to Lendpool for verification purposes while the campaign is in pending status. At this time Lendpool does not accept and approve any campaign that offers as reward equity or shares in any legal entity in formation or already incorporated.
When we receive a new campaign we carefully review it be sure it will bring you the expected results. We know how much time and effort you put into it and our team makes sure that you have the best chance to reach your goal. These are the areas in which we rate all campaigns:
• Is it clear what is the creator’s goal and what industry he or she is involved in?
• Has he included all the relevant information in the campaign?
• Did the creator choose the correct Campaign Type?
• Has the project owner created a quality video?
• Does he show that he has the potential to succeed in his goal? Does this campaign inspire me to go after my own goals?
If you follow this guideline your campaign should be approved within a few days from your submission. In the event that your campaign is not quite there yet, our team will provide you with feedback and recommendations as to how to improve it and you will be able to submit it again for another review. Take this under consideration in your planning.
The work is not done yet, in fact you are now entering the most exciting and demanding part of your campaign! Its time for you to promote the hell out of your campaign! Don’t expect people to see your campaign on Lendpool and to become a rockstar overnight, the most successful campaigns have a detailed marketing plan around them. You should push hard and share your campaign with your friends, family, neighbors, boyfriends, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, dog, cat, everyone!
The best way to do this is to create a list of channels you want to use to promote your campaign. Think about these for a start and try to get your campaign promoted by them:
• Websites you normally visit.
• Facebook pages you like.
• People you follow on Twitter.
• Influential people in your industry and other activities that could help spread the word.
• Your suppliers who can post something on their website, Facebook and Twitter feeds.
• Friends that could help you spread the word beyond your community.
• People you know in other countries that can promote your campaign internationally.
• People you know who can write an article about what you are doing.
• Blogs that may publish an article about your campaign.
• Online magazines.
During the course of your campaign you should be doing something everyday to raise the awareness towards your goal. EVERYDAY!
Have a press release written, checked and ready to be emailed before your campaign goes live and share it with as many people as you can. Remember that you only have a limited time to reach your goal so have your marketing plan well defined before your campaign goes live. Once the campaign is live run around like a headless chicken in order to get noticed, go crazy but don’t spam, no one likes a spammer.
Another homework you will have is respond to comments that will be posted on your campaign page. Hopefully there will be heaps of people supporting you and posting positive messages but there will also be people that might ask you questions about your rewards. You should be on top of that and answer them a.s.a.p. The more attention you give your fans the more support they are likely to give back, so stay up to date with posts on your campaign page.
It is free to create an account and to publish a funding campaign on Lendpool. We don’t charge any success fee on any campaign [actually we are the only platform that doesn’t charge a success fee]. For small monetary contributions to pay third party for credit card processing like paypal, credit card, check transactions there is a 3% fee. There are no fees if a project is not successfully funded on a fixed term campaign.
To access over 1.4 million investors and lenders there is a small amount payable in tiers; per month, 6 months (big discount), 1 year (most popular) or for a lifetime. The access fee is used to cover running the platform safe and sound.
When your project gets funded the amount you will receive is as follow;
CAMPAIGN TARGET (or total funds received) – 3% (third party payment processors) = YOUR EARNINGS